Wise up North Dakota, and think for yourselves

You have an alternative to the state narrative.

First, please read this previous blog post. And most importantly, this blog post.

It talks about the study of what kind of coercive message will get people to comply with getting a vaccine. It is this same language that we have been seeing used to get people to comply in everything during this pandemic.

So let's dive into what the North Dakota Department of Health launched yesterday, a hashtag and social push to get people to wear masks.

Here's a lesson in patronizing language: the use of "we."

"We prioritize helping our neighbors" i.e. if you aren't part of we, you don't help your neighbors and have wrong and selfish priorities.

The next few sentences are statements of what appear as if they are fact (but are not necessarily proven as such). This is similar to the Bismarck mayor's approach a few days ago.

If you don't do these things, you're not part of we. That's the message. I have already covered this before; the health department has been excessive in this kind of emotional manipulation from the start. This should come as no surprise, since the public health department is less about your health, and more about politics, funding, numbers, and control.

Next, we are told why we wear masks. The answer to why you wear a mask is for your own protection, because if you feel the need, do it. But according to the state of North Dakota, you wear a mask for other people. You could be perfectly healthy, but you have to compensate for the lowest common denominator of health in your community.

It's more about you than anyone else! This is how you show you aren't selfish, that you care! You do it for Grandma! Download our poster, take a selfie with your mask, and tell us who you're wearing a mask for! Because if you don't wear it for grandma and she dies, it's your fault!

[UPDATE: I think of the little 8-year-old girl from the Grand Forks area who killed herself because she believed if her mom or grandma got sick, it would be her fault. This kind of messaging from our state dept. of health is responsible for her death, frankly. It's on them.]

This is the only poster that fits this kind of campaign.

The data on children infecting others with this virus is clear. It's highly unlikely. That's the data. And we use these two little kids with their faces wrapped with a mask to promote this on a state website. If anyone should feel shame, it's whoever came up with this program and is promoting it. I have zero respect for you, and for the way you're using your design and copywriting skills.

I have beaten this to death on this blog. If you can't use fear to motivate people to do what you want them to, use shame, peer pressure, or guilt.  

All of this is tricky language, which we've seen more than the usual amount from politicians this year. Not only have non-mask wearers been the target of outrageous mockery and rudeness, not only are masks dehumanizing, but so is this approach. 

Those of use who don't wear masks have good reasons. We can spot safety theater when we see it. We can see a health department and government moving the goal posts and manipulating people. We desire liberty and the ability to choose for ourselves. We're not spitting on people, coughing on them. We know to not go out when we're sick. 

Yet this kind of thing is a tax-payer funded attempt by our state government to ostracize and call attention to those who have chosen not to wear a mask! It is disgusting beyond belief. Then we have the city of Fargo putting out a directive today (apparently working their way to a mandate like the big boy cities despite dropping numbers and no deaths for almost a month) for excessive mask wearing that, if people don't comply, will be mandated...plus lovely little bits of encouragement for tattle tales to rat out anyone not wearing masks. 

So for those of you who think we should have the ability to chose without our own tax dollars being used to fund a program that suggests we're uncaring, selfish, or not doing their part, here is an alternative: #WiseUpND (you can also use www.wiseupnd.com)

That link, www.wiseupnd.com, will take you to this blog post which has links to lots of articles and studies that make one thing very clear, and that is that the science on mask-wearing is anything but settled, anything but clear, some evidence of health risk, and in light of falling mortality rates and a 99 percent survival rate for this virus, that mask mandates are absurd.

For all of the people who have called me (and others like me) stupid and selfish, here are just a few of the articles on mask use that I've been reading and saving on my hard drive. It is clear that it IS NOT SETTLED that masks are useful in how we are rolling them out, and forcing cities, states, and nations to wear them with this much question is terrible policy.

Wear a mask. Don't wear one. Let people decide. Put out the CDC goosestepping information on your state website if you have to, but let people decide without pressure. 

I think some folks are confusing "north dakota nice" for "north dakota doormat." It might be the right time for everyone to start flying a yellow "Don't Tread On Me" flag. We can be nice without being vacuous and pliable. Apparently "North Dakota Smart" is limited to what the state government determines is smart, because if we really allowed people to exercise their individual smarts, we wouldn't be so patronizing to use a pansy hashtag to pressure people to do something.

But if you decide it's good policy to use emotional manipulation -- during a press conference where mental health was a noted concern! -- to get people to do what you won't do with an order because of lack of political intestinal fortitude in an election year, we can see through you. 

You will not receive my vote. There are other options.


If you want to take action and let Governor Burgum know your thoughts, I encourage you to contact his office. I warn you that you won't get much more than the "we've passed your message onto his staff" which I can't say I believe. But it's worth a shot.

You can also download a letter and sign and mail it. I would love to see a flood of letters arrive in his office so that there is some noise from the silent majority who can no longer, quite frankly, stay silent. Here is a possible sample letter for you. You can download a PDF of that letter to print, sign, and mail if you would like.

Office of Governor
State of North Dakota
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck ND, 58505-0001

Phone Number: (701) 328-2200
Fax: (701) 328-2205


UPDATE: Regarding the creepy $77K ad campaign to get people to obey, you can get some of your own ad campaign materials here to push back.

UPDATE: Get your #WiseUpND stickers now.